In March 2017 I happened to spot a book in my local library and thought "that might be interesting". That choice was in hindsight probably the most influential book related decision I made last year. How to be a productivity ninja resulted in a paradigm shift for how I approach my time and attention management. It culminated in me adopting the second-brain concept which I still refer to multiple times every day and I really cannot foresee any way I will ever want to give these methods up.
So it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I decided to download the audiobook version of this book to revisit it. Would I see details I didn't pick up on first time allowing me to be even more efficient? Or would I be disappointed going back to a text that I thought so highly of first time around? Thankfully I can happily say that I was not dissapointed and revisiting "producivity ninja" has indeed helped me to up my game.
In case you haven't come across this book, or some of these concepts here is a brief précis:
Time management doesn't work well in our increasingly fast paced and more connected world. Attention management is far more important.
To avoid overloading your brain and to help with planning your tasks, prevent forgetting key information and being more efficient with your decision making you need a second brain.
By using a second brain properly it allows your real brain to let go of worries, focus more completely on your task at hand and make the most of the opportunities coming your way.
All inputs need to be put through the "CORD" decision making process:
Capture the idea,
Organise all your ideas,
Review what is most important and how to do it best,
Productivity Ninja goes into great detail about precisely how to put this into action. It covers the whole second brain concept, daily planning, weekly planning, deciding on overall goals, managing email efficiently and many other related topics. Revisiting it has allowed me to add new layers of complexity (and also nice subtle layers of simplicity too) to the way I use my second brain which for me means the Google Keep app. Although I made the video many months ago, and many details have evolved, the main concept can be seen here:
By revisiting this I have realised that recently I had been neglecting my weekly planning and my overall project management. That meant I was flirting between the more urgent and interesting tasks rather than really making as much progress on the important “big rocks” as I could have. I am really pleased I have gone back over this before starting in Exeter next month as I feel that getting into great attention management habits now will make the transition to my new practice so much simpler than it otherwise might be.
I have said it before, but I would strongly recommend productivity ninja to anyone interested in making the most of their time. If you want to learn to harness your inner ninja have a look here:
Dr Chris Harper